Tag Archives: citizen science

April is Citizen Science Month!

What is citizen science? 

Scientists are limited in the amount of data they can collect by both time and money.  With help from members of the general public, known as citizen scientists, researchers are able to crowd source data collection collecting more data from more places helping them find answers to real-world questions.

So if you want to do something fun and educational that contributes to the advancement of scientific knowledge, consider becoming a citizen scientist.

Citizen Science Projects


Monarch Butterfly (Orang and Black) - Jouney NorthThe Journey North

This project focuses on migration and seasonal changes.   People all over the United States, Canada, and Mexico, report sightings of birds, monarchs, frogs, and other organism.   Watch as reported sightings are mapped in real-time as waves of migrations that move across the continent.


inaturalist logoi-Naturalist

iNaturalist lets you photograph, identify, and document what’s around you.  Every observation can contribute to biodiversity science, from the rarest butterfly to the most common backyard weed.  By sharing your observations with scientists, you will help build our understanding of the natural world.

Never Home Alone

In studying life, scientists have overlooked many regions. Some regions have not been studied because they are so remote. Others because they are so diverse that it is hard to know where to even begin. Then there is the great indoors, which we believe has been understudied in part because it is so immediate. This project aims to document the species that live indoors with humans.


The Cornell Lab of Ornithology - Logo with Bird in MiddleThe Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Hundreds of thousands of people around the world contribute bird observations to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology each year, gathering data on a scale once unimaginable. Scientists use these data to reveal how birds are affected by habitat loss, pollution, disease, climate, and other environmental changes. Your participation will help trace bird migration, nesting success, and changes in bird numbers through time.

Celebrate Urban Birds

Celebrate Urban Birds is a citizen science project focused on better understanding the value of green spaces for birds. This project connects people of all ages and backgrounds to birds and the natural world through the arts and fun neighborhood activities.

e-bird

The goal of this project is to gather this information on bird sightings, archive it, and freely share it to power new data-driven approaches to science, conservation and education.  e-Bird also develops tools that make birding more rewarding.  It provides the most current and useful information to the birding community from photos and audio recordings, to seeing real-time maps of species distribution and alerts that let you know when species have been seen.

NestWatch

NestWatch is a nationwide monitoring program designed to track status and trends in the reproductive biology of birds, including when nesting occurs, number of eggs laid, how many eggs hatch, and how many hatchlings survive.  Their database is intended to be used to study the current condition of breeding bird populations and how they may be changing over time as a result of climate change, habitat degradation and loss, expansion of urban areas, and the introduction of non-native plants and animals.


Logo - The Tick App - Bulls Eye with a the outline of a tick in the miidle suurounded by the words The Tick AppThe Tick App

The Tick App allows people living in high-risk areas for Lyme disease, like Orange County New York, to participate in a tick behavioral study.   Participants complete daily logs and report ticks.  The app provides information on how to remove ticks, prevent tick bites, and general information about ticks.   When enough people are involved, it can also provides information about blacklegged and deer tick activity in our area.


Monarch Caterpilar (Yellow, white, black stripped) on a green leaf - Monarch Larva Monitoring ProjectMonarch Larva Monitoring Program

This citizen science project’s mission is to better understand the distribution and abundance of breeding monarchs and to use that knowledge to inform and inspire monarch conservation.  People from across the United States and Canada participate in this monarch research.  Their observations aid in conserving monarchs and their threatened migratory phenomenon, and advance the understanding of butterfly ecology in general.


Logo - Monarch Watch.org Education, Conservation, ResearchMonarch Watch

Monarch Watch strives to provide the public with information about the biology of monarch butterflies, their spectacular migration, and how to use monarchs to further science education in primary and secondary schools. They engage in research on monarch migration biology and monarch population dynamics to better understand how to conserve the monarch migration.

Monarch Calendar Project

In the spring and fall volunteers collect observations of adult monarchs.  This information is used to  assemble quantitative data on monarch numbers at critical times during the breeding season.

Tagging Monarchs

Each fall Monarch Watch distributes more than a quarter of a million tags to thousands of volunteers across North America who tag monarchs as they migrate through their area. These citizen scientists capture monarchs throughout the migration season, record the tag code, tag date, gender of the butterfly, and geographic location then tag and release them. At the end of the tagging season, these data are submitted to Monarch Watch and added to their database to be used in research.


Logo - The Lost Ladybug ProjectThe Lost Ladybug Project

In the past twenty years, native ladybugs that were once very common have become extremely rare.  During this same time, ladybugs from other parts of the world have greatly increased in both numbers and range. This is happening very quickly and no one knows how, why, or what impact it will have on ladybug diversity.  Citizen scientists involved in this project help scientists answer these questions by photographing ladybugs and submitting the photos along with information about when and where the ladybugs were found.


Logo - Vegetable Varieties for GardenersVegetable Varieties for Gardeners

A project of Cornell University’s Garden Based Learning, this web forum provides an avenue for gardeners to share knowledge.  Gardeners report what vegetable varieties perform well – and not so well – in their gardens.  Other gardeners can view ratings and read the reviews to decide which might work well for them.  Researchers  use the information gain new insight into the performance of vegetable varieties under a wide range of conditions and practices. The information gathered is also used to make a  Selected List of Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners in New York State.


Logo - The outline of New York State under a picture of a moth, a beetle, a moth and a fly with the words Empire State Native Pollinator SurveyEmpire State Native Pollinator Survey

Native pollinators play an essential role in the pollination of flowering plants, including native plants and wildflowers, garden plants, as well as cultivated crops. Some native pollinator species have suffered population declines over the last few decades.   Participants  in this study submit photographs and/or specimens to help  determine the conservation status of a wide array of native insect pollinators in non-agricultural habitats.


iMapInvasivesiMapInvasives

iMapInvasives is an on-line, GIS-based data management system used to assist citizen scientists and natural resource professionals working to protect our natural resources from the threat of invasive species.  Citizen scientists are provided with resources to help them identify invasive species. Their invasive species findings are aggregated with data from a wide variety of sources contributing to early detection of invasive species as well as analysis of management strategies.


A curated beetle collection with pinned specimens above tagsNotes from Nature

Natural history museums across the world share a common goal – to conserve and make available knowledge about natural and cultural heritage. The Notes from Nature project gives you the opportunity to make a scientifically important contribution towards that goal by transcribing museum records. Every transcription that is completed brings us closer to filling gaps in our knowledge of global biodiversity and natural heritage.


Logo - citizenscience.orgCitizen Science Database

This is an official government website designed to accelerate the use of crowdsourcing and citizen science across the U.S. government.  It includes a searchable database of  a government-wide listing of citizen science and crowdsourcing projects designed to improve cross-agency collaboration, reveal opportunities for new high-impact projects, and make it easier for volunteers to find out about projects they can join.


Become a Citizen Scientist today!

The Great Backyard Bird Count has begun!

A bright red male cardinal perched a twig as snow falls The Great Backyard Bird count has begun! Starting today, February 14th until Monday, February 17th you are invited to join this citizen science project in which people all over the world spend at least 15 minutes simply counting the numbers and kinds of birds that they see.

This project began in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society.  Just last year over 200,000 people in 100 countries participated and counting over 6,800 species of birds.

The data collected from the Great Backyard Bird Count helps scientist learn more about bird populations including population fluctuation, migration timing, effects of climate change, etc. This is extremely important as birds are great indicator species and in North America we have seen significant decline in bird population in the past 50 years!A black crow standing on the snowy ground

So please take 15 minutes of you time today, tomorrow, Sunday and/or Monday and participate in this amazing opportunity to contribute to scientific research!

Click here to learn how to join the Great Backyard Bird Count!

Related link:

Birds as Indicator Species – Ornithology: The Science of Birds

North America has lost more than 1 in 4 birds in the last 50 years, new study says – National Audubon Society

 

Citizen-Science Training

Stop the Spread: Scout for New Forest Pests

Adult Spotted LanternFLy measuring 1 inch in length
Spotted lanternfly adult

Help survey the Hudson Valley Region for potential new forest pests. Reports of invasive pests newly detected in New York are causing great concern. These include spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula), Asian longhorned tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis) and jumping worms (Amynthas sp.). Reporting their presence and stopping their spread are urgent needs. You can help.

Spotted lanternfly (SLF) is an invasive planthopper that can feed on a wide variety of plants including grapevines, hops, maples and fruit trees. It is established in neighboring states and may be moving into our region.

This workshop will prepare interested individuals such as gardeners, hikers, landscapers and forest managers to scout for and identify SLF. Trainees will be asked to be “boots on the ground” to assist in the detection of the pest, to report it to NYS DEC and to help prevent its spread in our area. The biology, identification, potential damage, methods of spread, monitoring and management of SLF will be described. The Blockbuster Surveyor protocol and iMapInvasives app will be reviewed to track the current distribution and abundance (or absence) of SLF.

Identification information will also be provided for Tree of Heaven, Ailanthus altissima, the SLF’s favorite host; an emerging pest, Asian Longhorned Tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis; and Jumping Worms, Amynthas sp., which are in our region but under-reported.

CCE offices in the region will host the trainings in May. Register with the links below:

Questions can be addressed to Joyce Tomaselli, CCEDC, jdt225@cornell.edu, 845-677-8223 ext. 134

Lower HUdson PRISM LogoThis program is part of the Lower Hudson Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management’s efforts to stop the spread of invasive species in the Lower Hudson Valley. Visit www.lhprism.org for more information on how the LHPRISM strives to address invasive species issues through its partnerships. Click on “Upcoming Events” or “Get Involved” to learn more.